ALTRINCHAM (1) 3 STOCKPORT COUNTY (0) 0
played on Saturday, 24 August 2013, at 3pm
Altrincham cruised to a comfortable win over a County team which looks to be facing a long, hard season. Alty should have taken the lead before they did but wastefulness by Walshaw was forgotten when he steered home a 42nd minute goal. County had got in a number of long-range shots in the first half but failed to unlock the Altrincham backline which was led by an excellent performance from Luca Havern against his former club.
Unforced errors cost County as Reeves headed a second goal from Densmore's cross in the 50th minute. Then Walshaw put Reeves clear and he finished well to make it 3-0 after 70 minutes. Altrincham should have added more but they will be more than happy with a 100% start to the season which leaves them in second place in the table.
- 42 mins: James WALSHAW (ALTRINCHAM 1 Stockport County 0)
- 50 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 2 Stockport County 0)
- 70 mins: Damian REEVES (ALTRINCHAM 3 Stockport County 0)
REFEREE: Mr Peter Wright
ATTENDANCE: 2,875 (1,396 in away terraces plus more in the stand)
Two wins out of two nevertheless led to four changes in Alty's line up as Leather, Richman, Walshaw and Clee all came in for Doughty, Rodgers, Lawrie and Smikle. For the second game in succession Alty were without a substitute goalkeeper.
Former Altrincham midfielder Ian Craney was in County's team whilst ex-County men Luca Havern and Danny Boshell started for Altrincham.
ALTRINCHAM (Red and white stripes, red shorts and socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Mike WILLIAMS, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Matt DOUGHTY, 14. Carl RODGERS, 15. James LAWRIE, 16. Kyle PERRY, 17. Brian SMIKLE
STOCKPORT COUNTY (Blue and white): 1. Ian Ormson, 2. Kyle Jacobs, 3. Stephen O'Halloran, 4. Aman Verma, 5. Jordan Fagbola, 6. Kieran Charnock, 7. Jamie Hand, 8. Ian Craney, 9. Phil Jevons 10. Kristian Dennis, 11. Iain Howard. Subs: 12. Rhys Turner, 13. Lewis King, 14. James Tunnicliffe, 15. Brandon Windsor, 16. Adriano Moke
This was the Cheshire clubs' first-ever league meeting at first-team level.
With the Carole Nash End and half of the Popular Side holding more than 1300 visiting supporters, a pre-match presentation was made to Stuart Coburn, who was making his 600th appearance for the Club in goal (and 601st in all).
County kicked off towards their supporters but the first half-chance arose at the other end when Reeves almost got to an errant back pass before keeper Ormson. But the opening stages were to be end to end and now County won a freekick 25 yards right of centre.
There was controversy when Clee, who had started the game impressively, jinked past Fagbola's blatant manhandling into the left side of the box and appeared to be brought down by a County player, only for the referee to waive away Alty's appeals (4 mins).
After a Verma shot had been blocked, Walshaw went down in the box but his case was weaker than Clee's, earlier, and equally to no avail. County appeared to have a shoot on sight policy as Jevons fired over before Jacobs had an effort blocked and Dennis fired just over the bar, all of these efforts being from outside the box (8 mins).
Next, County's best player, the much travelled Verma, saw his long shot deflected to Coburn. But whilst County were shooting from distance, Altrincham were getting through the County defence. Indeed, when a fine cross from Williams arrived in the centre of the box, Walshaw miskicked and the chance had gone (12 mins).
After a rather harsh booking for Moult for a foul on Craney, a smart Clee backheel to Moult set the midfielder advancing up the left and, from his cross, Walshaw completely missed any contact with what should have been a routine goalbound header (13 mins).
After the impressive Clee had fed the offside Walshaw, Verma's 25 yarder was tipped over by Coburn for a corner at the other end. When Clee was prevented from taking a quick throw by Hand, who blatantly grabbed him, a booking should have been the outcome, but wasn't.
Walshaw's unfortunate afternoon continued as he again miskicked in front of goal, following Moult's driven ball into the box (22 mins). But, soon, Walshaw won a freekick on the edge of the box, awarded somewhat fortuitously against Fagbola. However, Densmore curled the freekick well over the bar (25 mins).
For the next ten minutes the two sides traded possession and forward movements without any serious threat of a goal. Then, after Moult had won the ball and fed Densmore, Alty's captain's shot from right of goal cleared the bar (37 mins).
Next, Walshaw's 25 yarder was beaten out before a Havern shot was also blocked (40 mins). When Alty won a freekick, after Densmore had been fouled on the right edge of the box, Clee overhit his freekick out of play. Alty now had a bit of momentum and when Craney fouled Clee in the Alty half, it led to a goal. Following the freekick, a Clee cross was diverted to Walshaw who poked it in off the far post, to the keeper's left, to make it 1-0 (42 mins).
There was time for each side to win a corner before half-time; Alty's arriving from a Fagbola error which epitomised the uncertainty of the County backline throughout the afternoon. From Clee’s corner, Walshaw, who could have had a first-half hat-trick, headed narrowly wide.
|Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 1 STOCKPORT COUNTY 0|
At the break, Turner replaced Craney for County. The half began with both sides making errors but, five minutes into the half, slack work on the County left led to an excellent Densmore cross which found Reeves at the back post. He headed the ball impressively home to make it 2-0 (50 mins).
The chances kept falling to Walshaw and he now dragged a shot wide after a one-two with Reeves on the left (53 mins). Now County brought on former Halifax winger Moke for Howard on their left. After Hand had hesitated on the ball an Alty cross came in from the left, which Walshaw headed over (55 mins).
And Walshaw was again in the right place as an Alty corner on the left located him but he headed over the bar. Play continued in open fashion but punctuated by mistakes from both sides. However, Altrincham remained fairly comfortably in control.
After a Dennis effort had won County a corner, Altrincham brought on Rodgers for Boshell (69 mins). Moments later from half way Walshaw put Reeves through the middle and he went on to slot the ball across the keeper, low into the far corner of the net to make it 3-0 (70 mins). Now Altrincham made another change as Clee came off and Lawrie was brought on (71 mins).
The third goal signalled the start of an exodus by County fans, who missed a good run up the left by Moke which ended with Jevons firing well wide (75 mins). On 77 minutes, Altrincham's third substitution took place as Smikle came on for Moult.
Any hope of a comeback for County seemed to disappear when Densmore fouled Verma, 21 yards out in a central position. But Verma's freekick was well off target and struck the letter "D" of the ManUtd.com advert high above the Golf Road, to the right of goal.
The chances continued to fall for Walshaw after Lawrie had put Smikle free and he had crossed to the front man, whose control again let him down (84 mins). With many County fans having left the ground already, three added minutes were played. During these, Stuart Coburn was named as Alty's Man of the Match, a fitting tribute to him on his 600th start but not a reflection on his quiet afternoon in the Altrincham nets. So far as the match itself was concerned, Havern was outstanding against his former club.
|Full-Time: ALTRINCHAM 3 STOCKPORT COUNTY 0|